correct location for third party /var files

Thomas-Martin Seck tmseck-lists at
Wed Mar 17 18:49:46 UTC 2010

* Dmitry Marakasov <amdmi3 at> [gmane.os.freebsd.devel.ports]:

> * Eitan Adler (eitanadlerlist at wrote:
>> Are third party tools supposed to use /usr/local/var or /var ?
> /var, absolutely. Everything that uses /usr/local/var or, even worse,
> /usr/local/${PORTNAME} should be fixed.

I beg to differ, especially your absolute posturing, but take this as
the opinion of an aging fart.

When I started maintaining ports in 2004, the (or at least my) goal was
to avoid absolute paths in pkg-plist like the plague, that is why I do
not bother to use something /var/cache/squid or /var/log/squid instead
of PREFIX/squid/{logs,cache}. There is IMHO nothing wrong with storing
variable data in $PREFIX/portname/ as long as this is sensibly done.
$PREFIX/portname/var or $PREFIX/var/portname on the other hand is
usually just a sign of sloppy porting and should be fixed.

Trying to separate static and variable data and scattering said data
across filesystems just for the sake of it or for arcane aesthetic
reasons is - IMO - not really helpful for the user. The most important
point is that you should never deviate to much from the directory layout
that the software authors have in mind: users might have a hard time
finding out where a certain directory that is mentioned in the
documentation is actually located when the software is installed via
FreeBSD ports (my current case in point: mail/sympa5).

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